The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘NOLA’ Category

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, Widdershins. Being from a family that watches a LOT of sports, and married to a hubby who adores football, I will be going over to Bro’s house to watch the game. This year, though, there are some sour notes in our typically light and frothy event. Our Bud Lights, in other words, are skunked.

First of all, there’s the way the Rams won against the Saints. The pass interference call that wasn’t, which should have ended the game in the Saints’ favor. Whether you are in the camp of “The Saints got robbed!” or “The Saints shouldn’t have let it get that close!”, you won’t find anyone online who now disagrees with how badly the game was officiated. Even Roger Goodell has admitted that the referees made a mistake, and he says he is looking at ways to change the rules so that kind of egregious error doesn’t happen again. It was too little, too late for Drew Brees, the Saints’ veteran QB, who hasn’t been to a Super Bowl since 2010. (The Saints won that one, 31-17.) Said Brees about Goodell’s belated apology:

“Do I really want to be in a position talking about this over and over again? No, but I have to stand up and do it because I have to represent my team, represent the ‘Who Dat nation,’ and that’s my responsibility. It’s the commissioner’s responsibility to do the same thing, and yet we don’t hear a peep for 10 days, and it’s because he has to do it now because he’s at the Super Bowl and he does his annual press conference.”

One take on the SuperBowl is that it’s the game we deserve today, comparing the Patriots’ and Rams’ victories to the corruption of Drumpf’s “win.” Hey now! That’s a bridge too far. Unless Pooty-Poot paid off the refs to throw the game to the Rams, there’s just no comparison. Besides which, the Saints didn’t win by 30 points and STILL not make it to the Super Bowl!

Speaking of Drumpf, as unfortunately we always seem to have to do, Dear Cheater will be blah-blah-ing before the game on CBS. I know I won’t be tuning in, since I know what he’ll say: “Yada yada border emergency national security I am so SMART!” He’ll probably throw in something about the National Anthem protests as well. Colin Kaepernick, the first one to kneel, still doesn’t have a job, and many NFL players and social justice activists are not happy about that either. Says NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith:

“I wonder whom on the NFL side has thought about how history is going to look at them given the near universal belief that Colin Kaepernick should be on a team. I think about those things,” Smith said. “Leagues do a great job of telling the story backwards. Major League Baseball tells a great story backwards about Jackie Robinson. But telling the story from the front forward is, well, there had to be a separate negro league. So, I think it’s an interesting way to pose the question of, of what’s going to be the story forward on Colin Kaepernick is not a great story for the National Football League. … So, what’s history going to say about this, and I think history is going to say that he should have been on a team.”

I don’t know how you’re going to spend your Sunday, Widdershins. Maybe you’ll be going to a Boycott Bowl, like Fredster. Maybe you are barely aware of the Super Bowl and are busy with other things. Or maybe you’re like me, and will try to make the best of it by surrounding yourself with loved ones, hoping no one cheats, and laughing (we hope) at the commercials.

No matter what, I wish you a happy Skunky Sunday.

This is an open thread.

Upstairs Lounge3

N O T E:

In conjunction with Pride Month I thought I would repost this piece I did sometime back.  I’m doing it after reading this article on nola.com

Note:  some of the links from the original piece may not still work

 

Monday marked the 40th anniversary of a terrible tragedy in New Orleans; the arson fire at the Upstairs Lounge in the French Quarter.  Twenty-eight men died at the scene of the fire, one died on the way to the hospital and three died later from their wounds so a total of 32 people died as a result of this arson.  All but one were men.

This post is going to have a lot of quotes pasted in so I hope you don’t mind that.  But the story needs to be told outside of nola and some of you might consider it a history lesson, while some of us lived through the times.

Essentially, here’s the story.  The Upstairs Lounge was a gay bar in the French Quarter.  This was 1973.  A lot of people (hell most people) were not out back then.  The French Quarter itself was different back then.  If you’ve been there, it wasn’t the elegant (Royal Street and its antique stores) touristy area it is now.  Rather, think in terms of what you saw if you saw the movie A Streetcar Named Desire.  It was a rundown area, filled with, as one person said, “thieves and queers”.  Many times, gay men carried fake i.d.s to the bars, not so much to prove they were over the age of 18 (the drinking age in La at the time), but in case there was a bust at the gay bar, so their real names would not be printed in the paper.

According to Frank Perez, a writer for Ambush magazine in New Orleans,

“The way things were at the time was really pretty bad. Raids of gay bars were very high and discrimination was profound,” Perez said.

A description of the Upstairs Lounge was given this way:

In 1973, the gay and lesbian scene in New Orleans was still largely underground, and patrons remember the UpStairs Lounge as not just any bar, but as a gay community hangout where locals could gather without fear of social persecution.

Songs were sung around a piano, “nellydramas” were performed with the help of local playwrights, and couples competed in tricycle races, according to former 9th Ward resident Johnny Townsend, the author of “Let the Faggots Burn: The UpStairs Lounge Fire,” a comprehensive retelling of the events of that night in 1973.

The walls of the French Quarter watering hole were covered with flocked wallpaper, adorned with memorabilia including an iconic Cosmopolitan magazine spread of Burt Reynolds lying naked on a bearskin rug.

To get into the bar, you had to ring a buzzer at the entrance on the ground level and then after you were let in, you went upstairs to the bar.  The gist of the story of the arson is this:  A local hustler and regular Rodger Nunez, had been thrown out of the bar and it was said that he remarked, “I’m gonna burn y’all out.”.  (Note: Nunez committed suicide the next year and an acquaintance of his said that when he was drunk he confessed to setting the fire but denied it when he sobered up)  The fire was determined to be arson but no one was ever arrested or convicted of the crime.

That night:

about 60 people held court at the French Quarter bar. A weekly “beer bust” had just ended, a jukebox was blaring near the entrance and people were gathered around the bar’s piano, where two men took turns banging away on the keys, as patrons joined in and sang along to “United We Stand”.

An incessant buzzing at the bar’s door, however, got the attention of bartender Buddy Rasmussen, who eventually asked 47-year-old Luther Boggs to go answer it. The buzzer was located at the street level where another door entered onto Iberville Street. Upon pushing open the lounge door, Boggs was met with a wall of fire that had been building in the stairway, causing flames to explode into the bar, instantly setting the whole place ablaze.

Rasmussen, an Air Force veteran, was able to lead about 20 people to safety through a rear door near the stage, which led out onto the roof of the building.

Read the rest of this entry »

Katrina Satellite image offshore

It’s not as though I needed a reminder of what this day is.  I will most likely have it and the memories in my mind until the day I die, that is if I keep my mind and don’t slip into a senile, demented old age.  It’s all just clear as a bell.

On Friday the 26th of August 2005 I was at work in the Ops Control Center at USDA’s National Finance Center in New Orleans.  We had these big monitors at the front of the room that we could all see from our workstations.  They showed the status of the IDMS databases, the CICS online systems, and various other systems that we kept track of.  But we had one monitor that had a tv tuner attached to it and we had The Weather Channel on that one.  And what I saw on that channel began to scare me terribly.  Hurricane Katrina had already crossed Florida and was supposed to turn up the peninsula of Florida but it wasn’t doing that.  It was staying out in the Gulf and the weather people were talking about it possibly heading toward the central Gulf and perhaps Louisiana.  We already had Tropical Storm (later reclassified as a Cat 1 hurricane) Cindy pass through and we didn’t have power for two days.  The power situation was hit and miss and it was available in other parts of St. Bernard, including a hotel.  I tried talking the momster into us going there so I could leave her someplace with a.c. so I could go to work.  She refused and there was no way I could leave her in a house without a.c. by herself.

So with Cindy in mind and watching Katrina not doing what she was supposed to do, I got on the phone and started calling hotels out of the area.  Previously we had evacuated to Meridian Mississippi.  It was about 150-200 miles inland and had always worked out satisfactorily before, well out of the way of any

TIMES-PICAYUNE FILE PHOTO/TED JACKSON A cross stands out in the Mississippi River Gult Outlet at Shell Beach as part of the St. Bernard Katrina memorial.

Katrina cross in the MRGO commemorates the 180 people who died in St. Bernard parish

possible water or flooding and the hotel we used accepted pets because we had Chloe with us.  I called the place and there was “no room at the inn”.  So I had to start looking online for hotels there that were pet friendly.  I found one that looked acceptable so I called and booked us two rooms for, I think, 4 days.  We(my Dad and I) never thought as much about getting out of the path of a hurricane as much as we thought of just getting out of the immediate area.  Obviously the idea of levees being breached and floodwalls collapsing never crossed my mind.  So then I called the momster and in my sternest voice told her we had to get ready to leave for Katrina.  I was surprised when she said okay because she had watched the news on tv also.  (big sigh of relief from me!)

That evening I started boarding up windows and putting things away that were in the yard and on the

Memorial plaque with the names of those in SBP that died in the storm.

Memorial plaque with the names of those in SBP that died in the storm.

patio so there would be no flying projectiles when the winds hit.  Saturday I ran errands before getting ready to leave and then spent Saturday evening loading up the Expedition.  We left out Sunday morning and I was concerned about my neighbors because two families of them decided they would ride out the storm there.  That morning I found out  that one of families had decided to leave and that was a relief for me.  After following the news and weather I was awfully concerned about anyone staying behind.

We got to Meridian and the hotel and I was surprised at the number of Louisiana tags in the parking lot and then even more surprised when I found out that many of the people were fellow residents from “da parish”.  We watched the news as they showed Katrina hitting Louisiana and then as it moved inland.  Then we watched as it was approaching Mississippi and I realized the winds weren’t really dying down

A flooded Judge Perez Dr. in Chalmette LA.

A flooded Judge Perez Dr. in Chalmette LA.

much.  I found out later that winds in Meridian got up to 100 mph (I figured this out as I watched pieces of the

hotel next to us break off and fly around).  We lost power there and didn’t get it back for two days.  Meanwhile I was checking with people around the hotel to see if anyone had news from the parish.  Gradually folks started getting some news.  We knew the city had been flooded…we all sat around in shock just watching the videos that were coming in.  But then I started hearing that the levees on the MRGO that protected St. Bernard had failed.  Chalmette was flooded, with some places having water over the roofs.

The storm surge comes through the MRGO overtopping the levees.

The storm surge comes through the MRGO overtopping the levees.

In the picture above I can’t give anything for a reference except to say the tall things there are the supports for a four-laned Interstate type bridge that crosses over the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.  Obviously those are telephone poles and trees in the front.  Normally the MRGO was so placid people would go out there in flat boats to fish.

All I can say is that for days there was a bunch of people who were milling around a hotel with no power, hotter than hell , just wondering what had happened to their homes.  We were getting no news about our parish because the bigger disaster was what was happening in New Orleans.  Then news started trickling in as I wrote above.

I’m going to wrap this up with something from The Rude Pundit because writing about “the thing” as Chris Rose referred to it is not something I really want to relive again.

“I don’t wanna write about that. I’m tired of thinking about it,” said one of the Rude Pundit’s New Orleans friends when he asked the woman to post on this here blog about the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the storm that caused the levees in New Orleans to break, allowing cataclysmic, murderous floods to ravage that place and many others. “Why does it matter that it’s been ten years? Every day is another anniversary.” Her family had lost three Katrina shrimp Boat Chalmetteor four houses between all the members. She lived a damn nightmare.

He reached out to another buddy, an old friend, a writer and photographer, who responded, “I’m just keeping my head low and not following it at all. It makes me crazy.” He meant that it depressed the hell out of him, and it was hard to blame him. He had been chased out of his home by the storm and came back to help rebuild the town. – See more at: http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2015/08/not-katrina-anniversary-post.html#sthash.NaWKKbPo.dpuf

And that’s sorta the way I feel too.  We were fortunate in that we had “only” about five to six feet of water in the house and it did not come up in a violent matter.  The house is structurally sound and is secured, just waiting there for the rebuild.

But as Rude Pundit’s friends said, “I don’t wanna talk about it”.  Sometimes wounds take forever to heal and sometimes they don’t heal at all.

When I first saw someone post this song online, after the storm, I was sitting in the Birmingham area, where I am now, and just completely broke down.  I had a bottle of Seagrams 7 near me and just started slugging the shit.  The guy wasn’t even from La, but he knew…he knew.  I sat there slugging and snuffling until I got loaded enough to fall asleep.

It’s an open thread and comment however you’d like.  And writing about this has made me have to take a half of a xanax.

May Flowers

May Flowers

Good afternoon Widdershins and welcome to another installment of Saturday Light Fare.  Once again we’ll take a look at some of the odd or humorous things I’ve come across on the web. No heavy thinking required today.

Taking a bite out of crime?

Um, maybe not so much in Rio de Janeiro Brazil.  Rio, as you may know will be hosting the World Cup of Soccer finals in June and July this year.  Naturally, as politicians anywhere want to do before a big event, the ones in Rio are trying to crack down on crime.  Perhaps the futility of that was shown by an interview with this woman in Rio.  As she was being interviewed about crime issues in the city, a mugger comes up behind her and rips a necklace off of her neck.

Recently, a Brazilian newspaper reported that 14 ATM machines in Rio’s main international airport were used to duplicate tourists’ debit cards. NPR also notes that the city has seen a 118% rise in robberies on buses, and a 121% increase in cellphone robberies in the past year.

According to a story on NPR,

Last month, Rio’s state government had to ask for help from the federal government to pacify the vast slum complex known as Mare, home to 130,000. Despite tanks on the streets, there have been shootouts between drug gangs and security forces in recent days.

“It’s really difficult [here in Rio]; the population is at the mercy of the criminals [and] we need more people to help us here,” another woman told Globo TV in an interview after the necklace attack.

Now I don’t know much about soccer, but I do know how some of the fans themselves can get pretty rowdy.  I recall some of the riots or near riots that occurred when some of the European teams were in the finals.  So perhaps it’s the Brazilian street criminals who should beware.

“Her crazy”

Or so said the little girl who, along with her mom, Danya Bennett, got caught in a scuffle between a store owner and a woman who wanted to get some paper currency for her jar of change.

…a woman became furious with a storeowner when he declined to exchange dollar bills for her jar of coins. Surveillance video shows the woman aggressively pointing at the owner of the A Plus Food Mart in Mt. Dora, Florida before knocking items off the counter.

Kami Johnson and her mom were sitting outside between the store and a laundromat when the argument between the store owner and the woman moved outside.  The woman tried to take a swing at the owner but ended up hitting the child instead.

The owner said he tried to explain to the woman he had other customers and he didn’t have time to sort through the jar

But after getting increasingly frustrated, video shows the woman knock over virtually everything on the counter.

The owner followed her outside. He said she was screaming racial slurs and threatening to kill him and Bennett’s family.

Surveillance video then shows the customer throw a punch, but what isn’t exactly clear is where it landed.

“When she was trying to swing at him she hit me,” Johnson said.

The seven-year-old has a bruise on her face, and said she’s having nightmares. Mt. Dora Police will only say they are reviewing the case, and the investigation remains open.

“I’d like to see justice served, it’s aggravated assault and I’d like to see her behind bars,” Bennett said.

The TV station has the store video posted and you can see it here.

So what do you do with a drunken elephant?

Answer:  anything the elephant wants to do!  Seems there is this plant in South Africa called marula fruit.

Like apples on the ground, Marula fruit ferment after they fall off a tree. An African legend describes the results, and these photos provide the evidence, showing the massive pachyderms as they get hammered. In fact, eyewitnesses described the elephants stumbling, falling over and otherwise displaying signs of boozing familiar to humans.

You can go here and watch a slideshow of the “drunken” elephants cavorting around.

 

Oh it’s just the way we do things down here…
sometimes

Mickey Easterling, a “matron” of the arts and socialite in New Orleans for years passed away recently.  Rather than send her out quietly, her daughter Nanci Myke decided to send her out in a manner that Mickey would truly appreciate:  being the center of attention with champagne and having a smoke using her favorite cigarette holder.  Mickey’s farewell at the Saenger theatre even made it to the gossip site dlisted, and I don’t know if Mickey would have objected to the title “Hot Slut of the Day” or not.  Probably not.  Concerning the farewell, Naci said:

“There’s no program,” she said, “It’s really more of a …” She paused and searched for the words, then continued, “It’s a really nice way to say, ‘The party’s over.’ ”

And to accomplish that, Nanci rented the Saenger and sort of recreated Micky’s garden and there was Mickey, sitting on a wrought iron bench, feather boa draped over her.

Friends of the local philanthropist, socialite and party hostess packed the gleaming marble foyer of the Saenger Theater on Canal Street, plucking champagne and fried eggplant from the trays of passing waiters. Music sounded from a jazz combo parked on the balcony overhead.

And apparently this wasn’t the first time something like this was done in Nola:

There is a precedent for this type of send-off. Close observers of local funeral rites will remember “Uncle” Lionel Batiste’s wake in 2012, where the Treme Brass Band drummer leaned against a faux street lamp. Beer and barbecue were served at the funeral home on St. Philip Street while Batiste presided in a natty sportcoat and sunglasses.

A long-time friend of hers handled the, uh, “costuming” and set design for the event.

To Easterling’s right, on a small table, sat a bottle of her favorite Champagne, Veuve Clicquot, and in her right hand was a Waterford crystal Champagne flute of the kind she used to carry around with her sometimes when restaurant glassware wouldn’t do.

Said one of her friends:

“There were so many fabulous women in New Orleans who really had this mission to live life to the fullest and help the arts,” Marjorie Gehl said. “These grande dames are all sort of gone.”

Gehl sat with two other friends, Diane Fee and Betty Davidson, who used to accompany Easterling to the opera. All agreed that one last party seemed like a fitting wake.

Davidson recalled when Easterling used to ride around “with a trunk full of iced Champagne,” picking up friends. No one could remember if it was a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley she used to drive.

“You can’t expect the women to remember what type of car,” Fee quipped, but agreed that drinks at the Saenger would have pleased Easterling. “It’s very much like she would have planned.”

If you go to the Advocate link, there is a picture gallery of the “farewell” and you can check Mickey out. She’s even wearing her diamond “bitch” brooch.

A couple of youtube clips

The Zurich Classic golf tournament was recently held in nola and Louisiana born John Petersen had to help out a fellow golfer when he came across a hazard that should have been in the water.  Good thing they had one of those rakes handy.

I don’t mean the following clip to be a downer or anything but rather what a wonderful source of therapy our pets can be.

This final clip is of one of our wounded warriors back from Iraq.  He worked with a bomb detection dog, Cila, over there.  When he found out that Cila was going to be retiring too he started checking into what he had to do to try to get Cilia home with him. This is the video of when Cila arrived at O’Hare and she totally remembered her former partner.

Okay Widdershins, that’s all I have today.  If you so feel, let me know below what’s going on in your world today.

This is a waaay open thread.

 

A couple dance at French Quarter Fest (frm Nola.com)

A couple dance at Fr. Quarter Fest (frm Nola.com)

Good Saturday to you Widdershins.  Yes, if it’s a Saturday in April in Nola, then it’s time for the French Quarter Festival.  Officially, they say the Festival is “to promote the Vieux Carré and the City of New Orleans through high quality special events and activities that showcase the culture and heritage of this unique city, contribute to the economic well being of the community, and instill increased pride in the people of New Orleans.”.  But in actuality, it’s another chance to have a big party.  I mean, you have to have something to do in nola after Carnival, but before Jazz Fest.  And with the Festival falling during Lent, but before Easter, there will be plenty of food on hand and if you observe meatless Fridays, there’s always plenty of seafood to enjoy.

Oh well, enough of that.  Let’s take a look at some of the unusual, odd or funny
things I’ve come across on the web recently.

Shoe stabber found guilty of murder

Ana Trujillo, the woman in Houston who was charged with murdering her boyfriend by stiletto heel was found guilty. I mean, she only bopped him on the head and in the face twenty-five times or so.  Her attorney tried for a self defense strategy, but I believe the twenty-five strikes with the 5 and 1/2 heel kind of blew that up in the water.  In the penalty phase the jury gave her life in prison.

“I never meant to hurt him,” Trujillo said before the judge made the jury’s decision final. “It was never my intent. I loved him. I wanted to get away. I never wanted to kill him.”

Well maybe if you had stopped at, oh, say, fifteen whacks with the shoe.  Just sayin’.

The prosecutor asked for life while Ms Trujillo’s attorney asked for a sentence of two years.  He said she acted “in the heat of sudden passion”.

Shades of the “kissing Congressman”!

Well this one actually happened before the video of Congress critter Vance McAllister getting all friendly and such with his “scheduler”/wife of best friend.  But perhaps this could be a cautionary tale for the congressman.

It seems that the good Rev Bobby Davis told his congregation of the Miracle Faith World Outreach Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut that he wanted his flock to stay past the end of services so he could have a chat with them.  Probably feeling that confession was good for the soul, the rev wanted to fess up to something he had done “a long time ago”.  Indeed, the reverend confessed that he had cheated on his wife of 50 years.  In the excitement of the congregation shouting out their forgiveness to him, the pastor fell to his knees, keeled over and died.

‘We were shouting, “We forgive you, we love you,”‘ Stovall said. I held his head as he lay on the floor… Our congregation is hurting now.’

‘The stress of all of it – he had a heart attack,’ Stovall continued. ‘I held his head as he lay on the floor… Our congregation is hurting now.”

Davis, a certified marriage and family therapist, served as pastor since he founded the church with his wife in 1967. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last June.

The church website said that his wife Christine ‘has worked alongside her husband for over forty-five years, teaching the Word of God…  She is a dynamic teacher whose style and wisdom compliments that of her husband to the extent that they almost always minister together in some capacity.’

 

Maybe sometimes it’s better to do a silent confession, just between you and your “higher power”, whoever that may be.

“Grandma wants dollar bills for WHAT?”

Well it seems that the manager/director and social workers at one Long Island nursing home had an activity other than Bingo for the residents to enjoy.  They decided to bring in some what the NY Post called “low rent Chippendales” to entertain the folks.  And this didn’t go over well with the son of one of the residents.  He expressed his outrage to the nursing home administrators who he says ignored him so he filed a suit against the nursing home.

The son of one resident, 86-year-old Bernice Youngblood, was shocked when he showed up for a visit and found a picture of his mom stuffing dollar bills — which are supposed to be locked away in her commissary account — into a dancer’s briefs.

“Plaintiff Bernice Youngblood was placed in apprehension of imminent, offensive, physical harm, as she was confused and bewildered as to why a muscular, almost nude man, was approaching her and placing his body and limbs, over [her],” the suit states.

I dunno, but if that’s a pic of Bernice on the Post website (and it is), she sure seemed to know where to stuff those dollar bills.  The suit continued:

“Bernice Youngblood has lived 85 years as a traditional Baptist, hard-working, lady . . . And now she has been defiled,” Ray (the attorney) said.

 

Now if Bernice is in the nursing home on Medicaid as so many of the residents are, I can see our Republican brothers and sisters getting all worked up because they’ll say it’s an abuse of Medicaid funds as Medicaid does provide a monthly stipend for the residents’ personal use.

Some assorted youtube clips

 

 Ronan Sinatra uh Farrow likes Koch

or at least the viewers on his MSNBC show say they do.  I confess that I have yet to watch the show.

Dutch Teevee reporter interviews…well someone with a big medal, and acts a little too nonchalant.

A youtube of New Yorkers with a rat on the subway and no it’s not politicians.  I like the guy sitting by the door who ends up just squatting on the seat while he uses his phone.

Finally, here’s about a minute of baby sloths “squeaking”.  It’s just cute.

Okay Widdershins, hope you had a great one today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

mardi-gras-beads and mask

Oh yes, it’s getting close to that day in New Orleans ~ Mardi Gras.  Nola is already in full Carnival mode and this will be the biggie weekend of parades around the metro area.  Carnival season officially starts with Twelfth Night, literally the 12th night after Christmas..although there’s some disagreement about exactly which day it falls on.

There’s actually a bit of confusion about the actual date. It’s the 12th Night of Christmas, which appears to originally have been counted from Christmas Eve. So actually the evening of January 5th, the eve of Epiphany (January 6th), is apparently the true 12th night. And it was the final burst of Christmas revelry. Unlike modern times which seem to start Christmas activity around Halloween, Christmas used to be celebrated for 12 days and didn’t start until Christmas Day.

However, 12th Night has come to be most celebrated, at least in New Orleans, on January 6th, the 12th day and night after Christmas Day. January 6th is also known as the 12th Day of Christmas, Epiphany or Kings Day. It’s the traditional day celebrating the arrival of the Magi or three kings at the manger with their gifts for Jesus.

Mardi Gras itself (the day) is actually March 4th this year and will wind up the whole shebang at midnight that night.

There have been lots of new rules as Bill Maher would say, regarding the parades in the city, mostly on St. Charles Ave. and what you can and cannot do or bring to a parade route.  People would rope off entire sections the “neutral ground” (median) of St. Charles Ave. for their exclusive use, putting up their ladders (originally so kids could be up high to catch throws from the floats), putting living room sofas out on the neutral ground and some folks would even rent their own port-o-lets for their exclusive use.

Mardi Gras terlets

Mardi Gras terlets

Well, the city council outlawed “private” port-o-lets entirely, but the city is providing a certain number of them.

It remains to be seen if the city will provide enough of them.

I can tell you from previous experience that quaffing any number of beers or other adult beverages while waiting for and then watching a parade can lead to some unpleasant and undesired consequences.  You either need a good friend who lives along a parade route or have some cash handy to go buy another drink at a bar just for the privilege of standing in line to get rid of the other drinks you had consumed.  Another thing that happens to those who do reside along a parade route is that sometimes paradegoers will take it upon themselves to “leave a gift” in the hallway of an apt. bldg.  hallway threat

I’ve never known anyone who would do such a thing  as described above, but obviously someone has since it seems these folks had to post a warning sign.

Mardi-Gras Liquor

click on me to make me bigger

Now naturally since this a time of celebration and letting the good times roll, liquor will be a bit part of the festivities and as you can see, one store had their varieties of vodka lined up ready for purchase.

That picture is of bottles of “King Cake” flavored vodka.  King cake is sweet.  It is very sweet.  I cannot imagine drinking a vodka that is that sweet.  But looking at the picture they sure as hell must sell a lot of it.  😉

Something that’s new for me is an throw that some krewes were tossing and they were…I’ll call them “booze beads”.  booze-beadsHow clever!  You catch enough of these and you can cut down on the amount of your own liquor you have to drink at the parade!

One of the parades I always enjoyed was not a parade of humans dressed up in costume, but rather the “mutt” parade of the Krewe of Barkus.  I forget the particulars of it now, but either the King or the Queen has always been a rescue dog and they are literally treated as royalty, enjoying a fine luncheon at Galatoire’s Restaurant in the French Quarter.  If you go to the nola.com link for Barkus there is a photo gallery of the luncheon that was held yesterday.  The theme of this year’s parade will be :  DOGZILLA – Barkus Licks the Crescent City.   😆
You can believe it will be a hoot and I’ll try to put up some photos after the Times-Pic gets them online.

A special thanks to Jeffrey and his blog Library Chronicles.  I “borrowed” the pics to use in this post, but I did email him and ask permission.  It’s just that I had already downloaded the pics to use when I emailed him.

I’ll close this with two classic Carnival songs.  It’s an open thread.

You hear this one a lot also.

angry-mob

working poor who won’t get Obamacare in Louisiana

* lie about health care once again

Lil Bobby Jindal of the gret state of Loozieana, through his Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, Kathy Kleibert,  had some good news for poor folks in the Nola area except it wasn’t good news for some of those poor folks.  You see, around 60,000 poor folks around Nola have been able to get primary care from a limited expansion to Medicaid in the metro area  through the Greater New Orleans Community Health Connection.  There has been a waiver in place since 2010 that allowed these folks to have up to 200% of the federal poverty level and still be able to obtain free treatment at the community clinics which are located across the metro area.  However, the waiver program comes to an end this year.  Lil Bobby has announced though that he happened to find an extra $6.1 million dollars to keep the program going, but with some exceptions.  Lots of exceptions.  For instance:

  • one third of the 60,000 people currently receiving care will no longer be eligible –  only those whose incomes fall below 100 percent of the federal poverty level will be able to participate
  • health care providers will no longer get any money to help them pay for facilities and equipment needed to serve patients in local neighborhoods
  • there will be no supplemental dollars paid to health care providers at the end of the year based on the number of patients they served
  • (and the biggie) the rates paid for services provided will drop by 13 percent

Now you might say “Fred that isn’t too bad”.  That’s certainly what Kleibert said.  And in fact, for those who aren’t going to be eligible for this care any longer, she even had a line of b.s. to dish out.  Ms. Kleibert said that for those folks who jindal-nopeare over the 100% rate of the federal poverty level, there will be the (taa daaaaa!) Federal health insurance exchange where they can apply for health insurance!  Except that’s not true.

You see, the original design for Obamacare was that those who made over the federal poverty rate, but below a certain income would go into the expanded Medicaid portion of Obamacare.  We know however that that option disappeared in the decision by the Supremes that let the states opt out of the expanded Medicaid portion.  To quote from this excellent article:

The original idea of the Affordable Care Act, known affectionately as Obamacare, was that single adults who have an annual income of less than $15,850 and $32,500 for a family of four, would be covered by Medicaid because they fell below 138% of the poverty level.

Federal subsidies were supposed to be given to those whose income falls in the range of 138% to 400% of the poverty level so that they could afford to buy insurance on the state-based exchanges.

In those 21 states that are not expanding Medicaid, many people will not be eligible for Obamacare or even to claim for subsidies from the government to obtain their medical coverage.

According to the Urban Institute, if these states do not expand their Medicaid, about 4.9 million people will not be insured by 2016 and there is a possibility that the figure may be even higher if the six states that are considering expansion but have not approved it yet decide not to do so.

Benjamin Sommers, assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, said that there will be many low-income adults who will just not be able to get insured because there are no affordable options open to them.

So guess what?  Lil Bobby and his Health Secretary flat out lied.  Those folks who make more than 100% of the poverty level but less than 138% are just sh*t out of luck.  But those of us from the gret state are all too familiar with Bobby and his untruths and half truths.

The Great Polling Debate
(or don’t believe those lying eyes of yours)

Our guv has been in a state of high anxiety and deep depression ever since that poll came out last year that showed his popularity down in the 30s in the state.  Well, one way to fix that is to conduct your own poll and skew the questions and the sample to the ones that reflect more favorably on you.  Then you can publicly announce that the latest poll shows your popularity or approval rate at higher that fifty percent!

But now we have two separate political polls—both by political conservative organizations—that show vastly different results. One shows his approval rating hovering around 50 percent while the other has him at an abysmal 35 percent—one of the lowest rankings of any governor in the history of Louisiana.

You see, the “good poll” was conducted by OnMessage a company out of Alexandria Va which happened to hire Bobby’s best bud to run a “southern branch” of the company.

OnMessage. Sound familiar? It should. It was OnMessage that hired one Timmy Teepell to head up its Southern operations in Baton Rouge—except there was never a Baton Rouge address or telephone number in Baton Rouge for the company and Teepell’s Jeep has remains parked in the back lot of the State Capitol since his hiring.

Now about the same time Bobby released “his” poll, a PPP poll came out (damned f*cktard LIBERALS!) that showed him with a 28 percent approval rating!  And the poll even said he would run behind a (gasp!) Clinton in a presidential race!

Fifty-nine percent of Louisiana voters said they disapprove of the job he is doing. According to PPP, those numbers make Jindal the least popular Republican governor in the country and the second most unpopular governor overall (Democrat Pat Quinn of Illinois is the lowest rated governor in PPP’s polling). At 41 percent, President Barack Obama actually boasts a higher approval rating than Jindal in Louisiana, according to PPP.

PPP’s latest also found Jindal, who’s thought to be considering a 2016 bid, tied for fourth in a hypothetical Republican presidential primary in Louisiana. When PPP tested him against Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical general election matchup, the former secretary of state claimed a 7-point lead among all Louisiana voters.

Well that’s one of those golldarned liberal groups.  I mean, certainly a Republican pollster conducting a poll would find a better approval rating for the guv.  Except they didn’t.

…on Monday, another poll released by Conservative Intelligence Briefing put Jindal’s approval rating at 35 percent, even lower than SMOR’s numbers from six months ago.

Second-term Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is occasionally mentioned as a presidential contender in 2016, but he has some work to do back home first. He is deeply unpopular two years after he was re-elected over token opposition. Only 35 percent of respondents view Jindal favorably, versus 51 percent who view him unfavorably. In a hypothetical 2016 presidential matchup, respondents in our poll picked Hillary Clinton over Jindal, 44 to 42 percent.

However, as Clancy Dubos writes, the in-house poll is the one to be believed because all the citizens of the state know that lil Bobby is a “Supreme Leader”.

What’s that, you say? Our Beloved Supreme Leader’s poll was biased, skewed in his favor by under-sampling black voters and over-sampling white Republicans? Only enemies of the Republic would propagate such nonsense.

Yes, it is true that Louisiana’s electorate is 64 percent white and 31 percent black. And it is equally true that the poll, taken by OnMessage, the political consulting group led by Our Beloved Supreme Leader’s right-hand man and home-schooled left-brainer, Timmy Teepell, had a sample that was 67 percent white and merely 22 percent black. But, as Team Jind assures us, black folks don’t vote in proportionate numbers, so why should their opinions count when measuring how beloved is Our Beloved Supreme Leader?

The same principle applies to sampling opinions of Democrats and Republicans. While the “official” voter registration rolls show that 48 percent of our state’s voters are registered Democrat and only 28 percent are registered Republican, the OnMessage sample was more accurately calibrated — to measure the true depth of voters’ passion for Our Beloved Supreme Leader. It thus had a sample that was 41.5 percent Democrat and 40 percent Republican.

See? It makes perfect sense to anyone who is not in league with “rebellious elements.”

You see?  Our Beloved Supreme Leader, Jind Il-Sung explains to us why we should not pay any attention to those “other polls” because they “are ‘pure fiction,’ Team Jind says, because they are the work of Democrats, liberals, bloggers and other undesirables.”  Ahhhh…when Jind Il-Sung explains it that way we can forget about the lies uh untruths, uh stories he and his minions have told us about the poorer peoples among us being able to obtain health insurance when the health exchanges open up.  Our Supreme Leader was so happy with being able to give health care to the poor (some of them) even though he cut back the number eligible, cut back the reimbursement rate, won’t get any funding for building and equipment…he was so happy with this and for his new-found favorability in his own poll that he even gave himself a round of well deserved applause.

Jindal-Supreme-Leader

Supreme Leader, Jind Il-Sung courtesy of Gambit Magazine

This is an open thread.  Oh and yes I know that lil Booby was on MTP yesterday.  I was able to avoid that.


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